What is it? The Lamborghini Aventador is an all-new V12 supercar that replaces the Murcielago. It comes from a long line of mid-engined monsters that stretches back to the Diablo and Countach.
While the format for the Aventador is the same, there’s a lot of new technology. The V12 in question is an all-new 6.5-litre engine, which sends its 690bhp through a new automated paddle-shift manual gearbox and a four-wheel-drive chassis.
Plenty of work has also gone into weight reduction, with a carbonfibre ‘tub' and a body that's built from a mixture of composite and aluminium.
The cabin and design are all completely new, too.
What's it like to drive? Intimidating. Not just because it's stratospherically fast, but because it's wide and feels it on narrow British roads.
You also never forget that there's a huge mass of car behind you, and it's made all the worse by poor rearward visibility – which makes parallel parking virtually impossible.
However, you don't buy a Lambo for shopping trips, so the real news is that the Aventador is even faster, and much easier to drive than the Murcielago.
Under full throttle every gearshift gives you a thump in the back and the Aventador spears towards the horizon at a pace that few other cars on the planet can match.
One regret, though, is that the engine doesn't sound as ferocious as the previous V12. Characterful and loud yes, but you don't feel it in your guts.
The handling feels friendlier than before, though. The front-end will eventually run wide, but that doesn't really come until you've reached crazy speeds. Only a maniac is likely to get it unsettled on the public road – and only then with all the safety systems disabled.
The Aventador is docile when you want it to be, too. The steering is light and precise, and it's possible to trundle along at normal traffic speeds. That said, the gearshift isn't as smooth as the double-clutch systems in rival cars such as the McLaren MP4-12C. This is noticeable at low revs and particularly at manoeuvring pace.
The firm ride never goes away, though, nor does the considerable roar from the rear tyres, but these issues aren’t particularly unacceptable for a car of this sort.
What's it like inside? Open the scissor doors, climb in over the wide sill and you sink down very low. This still feels like a big Lambo inside.
It's comfortable, too, and forward- and side visibility are far better than you'd expect. So is the amount of adjustment available to the driving position. It's just a shame that the pedals are so offset to the left – so much so that you begin to wonder whether left foot braking is the best way to stop without jabbing the throttle by mistake.
The switchgear and infotainment system are recognisable from members of the Audi family, but this is no bad thing. What is a pain, though, is the shortage of stowage space inside the cabin. Even finding somewhere to stash your phone is tricky.
Should I buy one? If you want this sort of car then it's a big yes. The Aventador makes even a Ferrari or McLaren seem like wallflowers.
It's big, brash, noisy, and quite a challenge on UK roads; but find the right road (which probably means a trip to Europe) and it's ridiculously capable all the same.
What Car? says
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